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Philips BX553A

This unit in for restoration will have all electrolytic replaced, paper capacitors and carbon resistors.  The resistors are of the brown uncoated body type.  After passing an initial Dim Bulb tester power up has the radio playing directly to the 120 volt line.  The pushbuttons are a bit tentative, all bands received stations or static (no long wire antenna attacked).  This is a quick check of all inter-stage, IF, audio and oscillator coil tests.   Later alignment may uncover questionable transformers.  But this power up test sure beats ohming out each separate transformer and coil. 

All tubes passed testing with a Heathkit IT-17 emissions tester but two.  The EABC80 showed leaks and a dim short lamp glowing on two of three tests. The UL-41 has no tester setting.  This tube will be tested in circuit.  There is a good discussion of the UL41 propose at: http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/philips_bx553a_bx_553_a.html.  Plug this URL into the Google Translate page if you don't read Dutch.


IMG_2688.JPG (210706 bytes) Shiny IMG_2689.JPG (252597 bytes) IMG_2690.JPG (233139 bytes) IMG_2691.JPG (221418 bytes)
IMG_2692.JPG (304821 bytes) IMG_2695.JPG (266055 bytes)The speaker has Knickers.  IMG_2694.JPG (140840 bytes)  
IMG_2697.JPG (189579 bytes) IMG_2698.JPG (219770 bytes) IMG_2699.JPG (207687 bytes)  
IMG_2700.JPG (179751 bytes) IMG_2701.JPG (310431 bytes) IMG_2702.JPG (354848 bytes) IMG_2704.JPG (123503 bytes)
IMG_2705.JPG (93975 bytes) This dial scale came in with scratches.  These were behind the cabinet.    IMG_2706.JPG (87360 bytes) IMG_2707.JPG (235205 bytes) IMG_2708.JPG (266285 bytes)Protect your dial glass made of Unobtainium.
  IMG_2764.JPG (155263 bytes)

The scratched  brown background has been repaired. 


IMG_2765.JPG (132670 bytes)You can barely see the contrast with the naked eye.  



I found a broken IF slug when I started the alignment.  Once apart several I unsuccessfully tried two other methods (Epoxy and sticky tape).  Super Glue did the trick.  It securely held the slug to the screw. 


IMG_2744.JPG (158974 bytes)Mark the orientation.  Also note how it inserts into the cover.   IMG_2748.JPG (147772 bytes)This is filled with wax. IMG_2749.JPG (140122 bytes)Melt the wax but not the coil form (tube). IMG_2750.JPG (149637 bytes)Tease out the core. IMG_2752.JPG (150253 bytes)Keep that plastic for alignment. 
IMG_2757.JPG (192347 bytes) This worked.   Not shown is cleaning out the tube with a finger held drill bit.  IMG_2758.JPG (137660 bytes)The core slipped right in.  IMG_2759.JPG (153702 bytes) IMG_2760.JPG (148151 bytes)The repaired transformer back in the chassis. 


The Bass potentiometer is ineffective.   It has a set screw threaded through the shaft.  I think this may be made from Unobtainium.  

IMG_2762.JPG (118187 bytes) IMG_2763.JPG (134150 bytes)

I could not locate a replacement.  I disassembled the potentiometer and cleaned it with Denatured Alcohol and a soft tooth brush.  Be careful not to scratch off the carbon element.  


Further cleaning of the Bass pot helped.  It is functional.  A touch scratchy but functional.  I use Denatured Alcohol to saturate the pot and flush out any accumulated crud.  Then followed up with regular contact cleaner.  This procedure has rescued a few pots that I have come across.  The treble control received the same treatment.  


Here are a few final pictures.  The cabinet has been touched up.  Scuffs and dings have been tinted as not to stand out.  It received a wet sanding, several coats of clear lacquer and baked precisely at 105 degrees.  This cabinet was allowed to sit for seven days before I reinstalled the guts.  

IMG_2796.JPG (255117 bytes) IMG_2795.JPG (312099 bytes) IMG_2797.JPG (251949 bytes) A high gloss finish was applied.   IMG_2798.JPG (217777 bytes)The finish was wet sanded and sprayed again.  
IMG_2799.JPG (240057 bytes)Until this mirror like finish was achieved.   IMG_2800.JPG (41857 bytes) IMG_2805.JPG (1435606 bytes) This is a shot of a switch on the internal AM antenna.  The dial is in the full clockwise position.  The tab with red paint throws the switch to the left.  I discovered the external antenna connections are affected by the position of this switch.  Insure it is properly synchronized.  

To synchronize, turn antenna dial about half way.  Take a probe and position the switch tab to the right.  The rotating vain will then engage the tab and push it to the left when the dial is fully clockwise

With the finish still De-gassing or hardening for the past seven days, a haze formed on the finish.  I used a slightly water dampened  paper towel (almost dry) and a soft cotton cloth to removed the haze.  I did not rub with the paper towel but only applied a light quick amount of moisture. 

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